Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Ice thickness report

One of our staff members went out on Lake of Bays yesterday to do a little ice fishing. For those not familair with that lake, it is a beautiful big lake just west and south of our Oxtongue Lake store (similar size to Lake Opeongo). Being outside of Algonquin Park, ice fishing is permitted on the lake.

She and her husband laboured with a manual ice auger to drill a hole through layers of hard frozen snow, ice, slush and more ice. They estimate total ice thicknees of at least 28". With current evening temperatures averaging well below freezing, it is possible that more ice is forming, now that the insulating snow layer has been soaked with rain and frozen solid.

This information is a good basis for estimating ice conditions in Algonquin Park, where ice fishing is not permitted, and nobody is out there drilling holes. Bigger lakes in the park will likely have thicker ice than Lake of Bays. The typical annual pattern is that lakes in the park generally open up 10 days to two weeks after lakes in the Huntsville/Lake of Bays area.

It is still to early to make a reasonable "ice-out" prediction but at this point, it doesn't look like it will happen early.

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